The time has come to put the misery of last week behind us, I have wanted to do this since moments after the Giants defeated our beloved Cowboys on Sunday night. This has been very difficult for me to do, and hopefully the players on this team have struggled as badly as I.
Let's take a look at what we have in store for us on Monday night when the Carolina Panthers come to town.
The Panthers are almost a mirror image of this Cowboys team in many ways. They have a very strong rushing attack, led by DeAngelo Williams and Johnathan Stewart. This pair of tailbacks is leading the Panthers ground game at just over four yards per carry.
Much like the Cowboys the Panthers offense depends heavily on how effective the rushing attack can be.
John Fox the Carolina Panthers head coach must like Wade Phillips rely on a very streaky Quarterback to lead his team. Jake Delhomme has moments of brilliance, much the same as Tony Romo. Unfortunately for both players and coaches those moments are usually followed quickly by moments of shear stupidity!
The Panthers finished last season with a 12 and 4 record only to get shellacked at home by the eventual NFC Super Bowl representative (a game that they were heavily favored to win) and ended their season prematurely.
It seems the Panthers end up on the same roller coaster the Cowboys have been on for 12 years now! Just when you think they are going to make a push, the wheels fall completely off the bus.
This off season this Carolina team has been riddled with injuries and contract disruptions, none of this has helped them get off to a good start.
After a classic Delhomme meltdown in week one against the Eagles (in which he was benched during the game), they lost a respectable game to the Atlanta Falcons.
I warn you all however, do not think this will be a cake walk win for the “Home Team” ! The Panthers are a very prideful team, and they are fighting to save their season. Expect John Fox to have his defense fired up and ready to fight come Monday night.
Through the first two games of the year Fox's defense has been rather shaky, giving up almost five yards per carry on the ground. Where they have been strong however is in the secondary.
They have faced two of the leagues best QB's in McNabb and Ryan and have allowed an average of 151 through the air per contest. They also can create turnovers as through the first two games they have recorded 2 INT. and 2 Fumbles.
The Dallas offense must account for a few players on the Carolina Defense, these guys will absolutely make their night tough if they do not know where they are on every play.
- Julius Peppers
- Jon Beason
- Thomas Davis
How will the Panthers defense decide to attack the Cowboys offense? Well my
Guess is that they will follow the lead of the Giants and Bucs, and load the line of scrimmage with 8 men to try to stop the Cowboy ground attack, and dare Tony Romo and the boys to beat them through the air.
If Tony Romo and the rest of the offense is ready, and prepared they will have the opportunity to rip this game wide open very quickly, but if they let this team stay around well they are going to find themselves in a real brawl!
The Panthers Offense much like the Cowboys are going to use their wealth of backs to open up the passing lanes for Delhomme. Do not forget that Jake has one of the most electrifying receivers in the league at his disposal, you know the real Steve Smith! Not the imitation one that torched the Cowboys secondary just 3 days ago.
The Cowboys will not be able to continue to allow their safeties to take chances by playing close to the line of scrimmage. Whoever draws the assignment of Mr. Smith is going to need help, so they best be ready, and in position to do so.
I cannot express to you and to the Cowboys how extreme the situation is as far as them being able to create pressure! This Cowboy team can only go as far as their defense will take them, they MUST get the lack of pressure problems fixed, and it must begin now!
This may be the most crucial game of the year for the Cowboys, a loss on Monday night could cause this team to spiral out of control much worse than last year! They have an opportunity here to get things going in the right direction and begin to come together.
The Cowboys defense is saying all the right things and showing emotion which is great and I am glad to hear it, but the time for talk is gone, only results matter now!
I have never been big on predicting things especially when it comes to the Cowboys, but I feel an urge to predict this week.
So my prediction is the Cowboys come out firing on all cylinders, scoring early and often, and put the game away before the end of the third quarter.
COWBOYS – 35
PANTHERS – 13